Australia

CountryAustralia
Ministry responsible
Ministry of Justice and Customs
Prison administration
Corrective departments of the individual states
Prison population total (including pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners)
41 064
at March 2017 (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
169
based on an estimated national population of 24.3 million at March 2017 (from Australian Bureau of Statistics figures)
Pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners (percentage of prison population)
31.2%
(30.6.2016)
Female prisoners (percentage of prison population)
8.3%
(March 2017)
Juveniles / minors / young prisoners incl. definition (percentage of prison population)
0.1%
(30.6.2016 - under 18)
Foreign prisoners (percentage of prison population)
18.7%
(30.6.2016 - prisoners born outside Australia)
Number of establishments / institutions
111
(2015 - 85 government operated prisons, 9 privately operated prisons, 4 transition centres, 12 court cell centres, 1 periodic detention centre)
Official capacity of prison system
31 335
(2013)
Occupancy level (based on official capacity)
96.0%
(2013)
Prison population trend
(year, prison population total, prison population rate)
2000 21,714 114
2002 22,492 115
2004 24,171 121
2006 25,790 126
2008 27,615 130
2010 29,700 135
2012 29,383 130
2014 33,791 144
2016 38,845 161
2000 21,714 114
2002 22,492 115
2004 24,171 121
2006 25,790 126
2008 27,615 130
2010 29,700 135
2012 29,383 130
2014 33,791 144
2016 38,845 161

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Pre-trial/remand prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the recent trend in the pre-trial/remand prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that pre-trial/remand prisoners constituted on that day.  

The final column shows the pre-trial/remand population rate per 100,000 of the national population. 

                                                    AUSTRALIA

Year

Number in
pre-trial/remand
imprisonment

Percentage
of total
prison population

Pre-trial/remand
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

2000
2005
2010

3,785
5,133
6,367

17.4%
20.2%
21.4%

20
25
29

2016

12,111

31.2%

50

It should be noted that the number of pre-trial/remand prisoners fluctuates from day to day, month to month and year to year. Consequently the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.                                                      

The pre-trial/remand population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities. 

Female prison population: trend

The table below gives an indication of the trend in the female prison population. The final row shows the latest figures available.

It consists of the number of female prisoners in the prison population on a single date in the year (or the annual average) and the percentage of the total prison population that female prisoners constituted on that day. 

The final column shows the female prison population rate per 100,000 of the national population.

                                                 AUSTRALIA

Year

Number of
female
prisoners

Percentage
of total
prison population

Female prison
population rate
(per 100,000 of
national population)

2000
2005
2010
2015

1,385
1,734
2,228
2,876

6.4%
6.8%
7.5%
8.0%

7.2
8.5
10.1
12.1

2017

3,396

8.3%

14.0

The number of female prisoners fluctuates and so the above figures give an indication of the trend but the picture is inevitably incomplete.  

The female prison population rate is calculated on the basis of the national population total. All national population figures are inevitably estimates but the estimates used in the World Prison Brief are based on official national figures, United Nations figures or figures from other recognised international authorities.

(If the rate were calculated on the basis of the number of females in the national population it would of course be approximately double the figure in the final column).

Prison population total
Prison population rate